Life expectancy is the average remaining years of life a person can expect to live on the basis of the current mortality rates for the population.
Healthy life expectancy is a population health measure that estimates expected years of life in good health for people at a given age. The measure is useful for public health and public policy analysis. Healthy life expectancy, relative to total life expectancy, can be used to identify populations that might be enduring illness or disability for years. And differences within and among populations can be used to identify areas of greatest need for health interventions.
The most recent analysis shows that Southern states have lower life expectancy and fewer years of healthy life, regardless of race, after age 65 than other states. In the press release, CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. writes:
"Where you live in the United States shouldn't determine how long and how healthy you live - but it does...”Other highlights include:
- Hawaiians have the longest life expectancy and healthy life expectancy after age 65.
- Mississippi residents have the shortest.
- For whites aged 65 years, healthy life expectancy varied from a low of 11.0 years in West Virginia to a high of 18.8 years in DC.
- Mississippi also has the lowest proportion of years of healthy life expectancy to overall life expectancy.
- Vermont has the highest ratio of healthy years to overall years of life expectancy.
- In each state women, on average, have higher life expectancy and healthy life expectancy than men.
For more information, see the full CDC report.